Sunday, December 31, 2006

So what say you readers?

Hi Clare,

It's Rene Proulx again. Yes archival libraries do have photocopies or microfilm of land scipt. My question is whether they mean anything because I came up with lots for my family I just don't know if they're worth anything?

Hi Rene,

Perhaps the real question is would such documentation be admissible as evidence in a court of law? Any solicitors out there who'd like to wade in with a legal opinion?

Happy New Year!
Clare L. Pieuk

Anyone know?

Hi Clare,

When it comes to land script do library archives have information on family names and amount of land. I read your blog a lot. Could you answer please.

Un Vyeu Mechif Fiere
Dear Rene,

You've raised a very interesting question. Perhaps our readers would like to try the following and report back:

(1) Here the provincial archives fall under the purview of Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism. If you visit, at the top of the page you'll find a Table entitled General Inquiries containing the e-mail address

(2) Why not contact The Archives of Manitoba to ask what information they have on land script - we'll post all responses

Happy New Year!
Clare L. Pieuk

Welcome back Elder!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Got Metis land claims questions?"

I would like to take a shot at those questions:

1. There are no bona fide political representatives for the Metis, only the lawyer a Metis chooses to represent him or her. A Metis still falls under Canada's political laws with the difference being Red River Metis had landscript or property that was taken away. As one I may vote in mainstream politics because I am still a Canadian. The MMF is just a Club getting tax money that is suppose to help the poor Metis, but ends up redirected for other purposes unknown to most and those who are aware will not say because they will get sued or hardship will fall upon them

2. Absolutly no to question two. With the state of the MMF and it's present Board, only friends and family would share in this new wealth. We would also see people without landscript profiting, just like it happened 130 years ago. Crumbs would be given to others to keep them quiet. Also, why would I want someone else handling my affairs and or property

3. No to question three. Only Red River Metis with landscript are entitled. They are the ones who lost everything, such as our farm as late as 1962. Taken away for a couple hundred tax dollars or the Catholic Church which took my Grandmother's property because she had burrowed a few hundred dollars and died before she had a chance to pay them back. Metis membership means nothing, it's like joining a Club run by an uncle who keeps you in line

4. If your family held script in the Red River Valley, even C-31 status should be eligible for entitlement. C-31 are still mixed blood. Many Metis have joined the white race, (we should call them W-31) but they are still Metis

5. Yes to question five. How the government deals with it is up to them. When the government and their bandits kicked the Metis off their land, they should have thought of compensating the Metis then

If a bankers steals from his client, the court makes him pay it back. The court doesn't care where the fancier gets his money as long as he pays it back. If the banker gets caught 20 years later, he must pay back at today's currency value plus interest. For example, if my antique car got stolen and the thief spent $50,000 repairing it, the law doesn't look at that expenditure, only the fact that the vehicle is mine and I would get it back regardless of the condition.

I would not pay the thief 50 grand to have it returned. This same law should be enforced in this case. Supposedly all this makes too much sense and the government would have to throw it out. Would like to see others thoughts on these questions

Happy New Year Clare,
Your Elder Is Back!
Dear Elder:

Welcome back and thank you for the lovely Christmas card. Indeed your points are very well taken. Given the MMF's track record for transparency, accounability and propensity for spending public money on highly qestionable projects, we favour a Land Claims Commission. Here's why:

(a) The judiciary is the only institution with the power to trump governments and redress wrongdoings. Why not a Land Claims Commission jointly headed by a Federal Court Judge and Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Justice? Let them select the other Members. Assuming there is a cash settlement, it would be this group which decided who gets what

(b) Every Metis who believed they had a valid land claim could make written application before The Commission. They would also have:

(i) The right to appear in person before The Commission to appeal a decision with which they disagreed. Alternatively, a claimant could have a representative such as a friend or attorney argue on their behalf

(ii) Appeals could also be submitted in writing

Like you, we too fear if a cash award were turned over to the Manitoba Metis Federation for distribution "significant administrative leakage" (And that's being extremely kind!) would result. You need protection from an organization which purports to represent your best interests.

Clare L. Pieuk

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Got Metis land claims questions?

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

We trust you've had a nice holiday season. Recently Winnipeg lawyer Jeff Niederhoffer wrote an excellent article ("Jeff Niederhoffer Weighs In" - December 21, 2006 which points out some very interesting issues:

Kim (Lavallee) raises a fascinating question. While most of my practice (when I was in private practice) was in non-commercial civil litigation, I have dabbled a bit in corporate law, and have also for the past one-and-a-half years been exposed to this interesting world of Metis politics, such that I might have a few interesting comments to offer.

As a corporation, the MMF legally only represents its shareholders, but as an interest or advocacy group, it purports to politically represent the Metis Nation as a whole. While it offers memberships to persons of Metis ancestry (however determined - and I understand it is a very controversial process of determination), memberhip in the Federation is voluntary, and in point of fact, I believe most Manitoba Metis have chosen not to be members of the Federation. Even those Metis who are Members of the Federation (such as, I believe, Derryl) find the activities of the Federation and its President to be controversial, and it is unlikely they would agree that the Federation in any sense speaks for them.

Coupled with the fact that the Federation has nothing approaching the powers and responsibilities of a level of government, it would seem difficult to politically argue that the MMF can legitimately claim to speak for the Metis people as a whole. Of course, this is an issue with not only political but constitutional implications.

My exposure to constitutional law has been extremely limited, but I believe that the issue of whether the MMF has legal "standing" to speak for all Metis is one of those issues that will be determined in the upcoming ruling in the MMF land claims case. No doubt resolution of this issue, together with the broader issue of the compensation (if any) owed Metis by the federal government, will play a significant role in determining whether the MMF can legitimately claim to represent the Metis Nation.

Even if the MMF is recognized as having legal standing in constitutional cases, however, it undoubtedly will remain a bone of contention among certain Manitoba Metis whether this translates into any kind of broader political authority.

Next consider the following excerpt from a letter Mr. Roland Penner sent CyberSmokeBlog dated April 3, 2006:

The difficulties I perceived then (on the basis of legal opinions) were essentially who could claim, what could be claimed and whether there was any operative statute of limitations? I can't recall with any precision what my view (or, more precisely the view of my legal advisors) was then, but I am presently of the opinion that there is a sound basis for a constitutional challenge as the first step in the process and that, as is the case, the MMF can plead that issue.

The MMF cannot claim land or damages, only the descendants of the originally intended beneficiaries can do that. And, importantly, I do not think a constitutional challenge is subject to any statute of limitations. If there is a decision favourable to the MMF's constitutional challenge then in my view, the proven descendants can claim likely not land but at least damages and can do so free from any time limitation challenge.

As I said this morning, AT THAT STAGE a Land Claims Commission would be the only sensible way to go. (emphasis ours)

Messrs. Penner and Niederhoffer's comments raise the following questions. Perhaps you have others:

(1) Who is the bona fide political representative of Manitoba's Metis? Is it exclusively the MMF? This point was argued in a pre-trial Motion filed by the Defence (Attorneys General Canada/Manitoba) shortly after the original Statement of Claim was registered in 1981. You may recall it came up again during the Court of Queen's Bench proceedings earlier this year

(2) Should the Federation be given complete control over the management and distribution of any Court ordered award?

(3) Must you be a Manitoba Metis Federation Member to be eligible for an entitlement? What if, for whatever reason(s), you're not nor wish to become one?

(4) Should Manitoba Metis who qualify for C-31 Status be eligible for entitlement? What if you were Metis but now hold a treaty card?

(5) Given the MMF's Statement of Claim asks for 1.4 million acres of land, some prime Winnipeg real estate on both sides of the Red River, are the Plaintiffs likely to get it? If so, how should those whose time, effort and investment have significantly increased its value during the intervening years be compensated?

These are some of our questions what are yours?

Clare L. Pieuk

Note: Roland Penner was Manitoba's Attorney General when the original land claim was filed. He's a Queen's Counsel and Member of the Order of Canada. Currently he teaches Constitutional, Criminal, Evidence, Labour and Charter of Rights Law at the University of Manitoba

Jeff Niederhoffer is a Staff Lawyer for The Community Legal Education Association (Winnipeg).

Friday, December 22, 2006

Guess who invented basketball eh?

Mr. Craig Cantin
NBA Bloggers

Dear Mr. Cantin:

Thank you so very much for inviting CyberSmokeBlog into your family of NBA Bloggers. We think your colleagues and you will find CSB to be a very interesting, informative site. Not only are our readers most knowledgeable about basketball but we get into some fascinating, leading edge socio-legal discussions such as freedom of speech and expression versus defamation.

Just to show you our Molson-Coors CANADIAN audience knows basketball , can any of your Bloggers tell us who said, "Havlichek Stole The Ball!"


Clare L. Pieuk

P.S. You write a very good e-mail!
James Naismith
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

James Naismith, M.A., M.D., D.D., (November 6, 1861 – November 28, 1939) was the inventor of the sport of basketball and the first to introduce the use of a hemlet in American football in American football. He was also the first basketball coach to assemble a team of 5 players.

He was born in Almonte, Ontario C-A-N-A-D-A, the eldest son of Scottish immigrants who had arrived in the area in 1851and worked in the mining industry.

Invention Of Basketball

In 1891, while working as a physical education teacher at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts, and coaching football at McGill University, Naismith was asked to make a game that wouldn't take up much room and at the same time, could be played indoors.

Inspired mostly by a Canadian game he played as a child in Canada called Duck-on-a-Rock, Naismith's basketball started December 15, 1891 with thirteen rules (modified versions of twelve of those are still used today), a peach basket nailed to either end of the school's gymnasium, and two teams of nine players. On January 15, 1892 Naismith published the rules for basketball. The original rules did not include what is known today as the dribble. They initially only allowed the ball to be moved up the court via a pass. Following each "goal" a jump ball was taken in the middle of the court. Although it wasn't a rule, players would commonly use the dust of coal to cover the palms of their hands, allowing them to get a better grip on the ball. The coal palm was used up until the early 1930s. Also interesting was the rule concerning balls out of bounds - the first player to retrieve the ball received possession.

Basketball became a popular men's sport in the United States and Canada very quickly, and spread to other countries as well. Additionally, there were several efforts to establish (under modified rules) a women's version. Naismith himself was impressed with how quickly women caught onto the game and remarked that they were quick to understand the nature of the teamwork involved. He observed some women playing at a college in Springfield, MA, and was instrumental in promoting the sport for women in New England. This met with great resistance in some circles and was consequently far slower to become truly widespread. Even Naismith felt that it was appropriate to modify the rules somewhat to account for the delicate nature of women.

The men's sport was officially added to the Olympic program at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. There, Naismith handed out the medals to three North American teams; United States, for the Gold Medal, Canada for the Silver Medal, and Mexico, for their Bronze medal win. Women's basketball finally became an Olympic event in Montreal
l during the 1976 Summer Olympics. Previously, there had been a men's basketball competition, in connection with the 1904 Games at St. Louis USA.

Personal Life

Naismith married Maude Sherman in 1894. They had five children. Naismith was also a Presbyterian Minister. Naismith became a naturalized American citizen on May 4, 1925. In 1939 he was awarded his Doctor of Divinity from The Presbyterian College, Montreal. After Maude's death in 1937, he married Florance Kincade on June 11, 1939, less than six months before his own death, in Lawrence Kansas, of a cerebral hemorrage.

He has been honored extensively in his native country Canada and also in other nations. He was the founding inductee when on February 17, 1968 the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame named in his honour, opened in Springfield, Massachusetts.

In 2005 James Naismith's grandson, Ian Naismith, planned on selling the original copy of the basketball rule book. The rules were passed down on Naismith's death to his youngest son, James Naismith, who was Ian's father. James lived in Corpus Christie, Texas.

Naismith was a Freemason and a member of Signa Phi Epsilon fraternity.

13 Rules Of Basketball - Written By James Naismith

The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands.

The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands, but never with the fist.

A player cannot run with the ball. The player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it, allowance to be made for a man running at good speed.

The ball must be held by the hands. The arms or body must not be used for holding it.

No shouldering, holding, pushing, striking or tripping in any way of an opponent.

The first infringement of this rule by any person shall count as a foul; the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made or, if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game. No substitution shall be allowed.

A foul is striking at the ball with the fist, violations of Rules 3 and 4 and such as described in Rule 5.

If either side makes three consecutive fouls it shall count as a goal for the opponents (consecutive means without the opponents in the meantime making a foul).

A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the grounds into the basket and stays there, providing those defending the goal do not touch or disturb the goal. If the ball rests on the edges, and the opponent moves the basket, it shall count as a goal.

When the ball goes out of bounds, it shall be thrown into the field and played by the first person touching it. In case of dispute the umpire shall throw it straight into the field. The thrower-in is allowed five seconds. If he holds it longer, it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on them.

The umpire shall be the judge of the men and shall note the fouls and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made. He shall have power to disqualify men according to Rule 5.

The referee shall be judge of the ball and shall decide when the ball is in play, in bounds, to which side it belongs, and shall keep the time. He shall decide when a goal has been made and keep account of the goals, with any other duties that are usually performed by a referee.

The time shall be two fifteen-minute halves, with five minutes rest between.

The side making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winner.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

These guys are good - our hits from the United States have already spiked!

Dear Clare L. Pieuk:

Thank you very much for joining NBA Bloggers. Your blog will be added to the blogroll shortly, and your articles will be found on the main site and on several secondary sites. You will find your information below; please check for accuracy and contact us if you see any problems.

Thanks again for joining!
Craig Cantin
NBA Bloggers

Your Name: Clare L. Pieuk
Name of Blog:
XML feed:
City: Winnipeg
Province: Manitoba
Country: Canada

NBA coming to CSB - Go Celtics Go!

Mr. Leprechaun: So how's it going up there in Manitoba Canada's Metisland North eh? Of course, you all know Boston is the intellectual capital of basketball eh! Word on the street has it the Celts are a lot better than your Raptors eh?

Dear Blog Author:

We recently came across your site,, while searching for bloggers who blog about the NBA.

A small group of us have started a new site called NBA Bloggers. Our intent is to bring basketball bloggers closer together, and make a positive contribution to the Internet community.

Would you be interested in joining NBA Bloggers? Please take a few minutes to have a look at what we are trying to do, and if you are interested, there is a sign up page to get the ball rolling. We would greatly appreciate your support in this endeavour.

If you do not feel that your blog would be a good fit for NBA Bloggers but like to read about your favorite sports team, come visit us for some great content from our growing list of blog authors. You can also check our FAQ Section to learn more about NBA Bloggers

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on NBA Bloggers. Craig Cantin NBA Bloggers

Please note: you will receive this email only once. You can join or visit NBA Bloggers at any time, but we do not believe in spam, and will not intentionally send this invite more than once. If you have any concerns regarding our anti-spam policy, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

$75,000-$100,000 in Metis public money! For what?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Welcome back!"

Good to see ol' Murray T. was able to finally make his payments. Guess the MNC were a little more miffed at him than we thought, eh? The real scary question is what he had to do to get the rest of his money from them!
Dear Anonymous:

Thank your for writing. You've raised several very interesting points:

(1) The lawsuit by Plaintiffs Metis National Council Secretariat Inc. and Clement Chartier on behalf of the Metis National Council and the Metis National Council against The Honourable W. Yvon Dumont was an incredibly ill advised and conceived action!

(2) There were multiple attempts by Defendant Dumont to settle prior to going to trial all of which were rejected. The Plaintiffs decided to roll the dice and lost - BIG TIME!

(3) During the five day trial it was most evident on more than one occasion Court of Queen's Bench Justice John Menzies' patience was wearing rather thin with Counselor Trachtenberg. The Plaintiffs are now on the hook for all legal costs. How much? Mr. Trachtenberg invoices at a minimum of $250/hour! Then there's Anders Bruun and Jeff Niederhoffer's fees. An educated guess $75,000-$100,000!

(4) Paragraph [63] of Justice Menzies' 22 page judgment handed down July 5, 2006 states:

The action against Dumont is therefore dismissed. If the parties cannot agree as to costs, this matter can be scheduled before me for a determination of entitlement and quantum. I would expect counsel requesting an order of costs to provide me with the particulars of the costs being requested prior to any hearing so that I may review the request prior to argument.

(5) An online search of Court of Queen's Bench File Registry ( Case Number CI 05-01-42919) shows no appeal has been launched nor request for Justice Menzies to rule on costs. This would seem to suggest Murray Norman Trachtenberg has had to go before the Plaintiffs and advise them of the amount owed. Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall!

(6) Can you imagine what the federal government which funds the Plaintiffs must think knowing public money was used to finance such a frivolous, silly lawsuit against someone who has done so much for his people?

(7) Think of what could have been accomplished had these dollars been applied to a desperately needed Metis-Aboriginal Women's Drop-In Centre/Shelter on Selkirk Avenue for those trying to beat the streets!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Province investigating recent Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg election!

See-Saw War Of Words Continues
ACW's Financial Woes Disputed

By Philip Paul-Martin (With Reports From Len Kruzenga)
Grassroots News
Volume 10, Number 45
November 28, 2006
Page 8,2006pdf

Former ACW President Larry Wurcherer says a story blaming a Council deficit on his watch while at the Head of the organization is inaccurate. The story appeared in last Monday's edition of the Winnipeg Free Press (Monday, November 20th - City and Business Section page B1).

Incoming Director Wayne Helgason, who is also a past President of ACW, placed a call to the Winnipeg Free Press last week to bring the deficit issue to light.

Wurcherer admits there is a deficit but questions the motivation behind the call. "It's astonishing," said Wurcherer. "It's indicative of how they (The Council) operate. Intimidation tactics and misrepresentation seems to be their agenda. You have to ask yourself why."

"The outcome of the election has been decided and this amounts to grandstanding and a smear campaign on their part."

Wurcherer disputes the claim he had total control of the Council's finances.

"I had no control over the finances. Any decisions were made with the Board's explicit approval," said Wurcherer. "There were issues of funding being delayed due to tampering as well as an additional $80,000 that CAHRD owes the Aboriginal Council. That money remains outstanding which is a large part of the reason w had to operate the Council under a line of credit."

According to Wurcherer, the funds were for a study to ensure CAHRD was providing their clients with proper services.

Marileen Bartlett is currently Executive Director of CAHRD and Treasurer of the ACW.

Bartlett says four parties had to sign cheques in order for funds to be released. Those four individuals were myself, Larry Wurcherer, Lionel Chartrand and Jeff Chartrand. We couldn't operate without those four required signatures.

"As Treasurer it's not like people were writing bad cheques, but obligations to funders were not being met. Outstanding bills were piling up and we had to do something," said Bartlett. "I came on as Treasurer in December of 2005 and yes, there were things that needed to be addressed immediately.

However, Bartlett wouldn't say if the $80,000 from CAHRD has been released to the ACW.

Wurcherer claims Bartlett was aware of the decision to operate ACW with a line of credit and that the Board approved the hiring of an outside person independent of the Council to keep the books.

The Bookkeeper was terminated last Spring after it was felt the Council was a low priority client according to Wurcherer.

He claims Bartlett tampered with Federal funders behind his back to ensure funding was delayed. "That caused problems between the Council and our funders. We were informed last August that no political group in Manitoba including the AMC, MMF or the Council were going to be funded yet. They implied that funding was forthcoming but wouldn't say when."

Currently the Feds owe ACW $20,000 from the last fiscal year according to their agreement. "The Feds may well have cut the funding but there's no way for me to know that as I haven't worked as President for the past two months," said Wurcherer. "There should be recourse for the Council to follow."

"Right now there is almost $100,000 the ACW could have their hands on if they were able to compy with established regulations," said Wurcherer. "But instead of taking that course of action they chose to hang the blame sign on me."

They don't want accountability, they want misinformation to maintain control of funding dollars," added Wurcherer.

The province also suspended funding pending the outcome of the election fiasco. Wurcherer said provincial bureaucrat Eleanor Brockington told them a quarterly $25,000 wouldn't be released. Aboriginal and Northern Affairs funds ACW with $100,000 annually. Brockington confirmed the funding was withheld but would not say whether the suspended payments had been issued following the court decision.

Allegations into election intimidation are ongoing as senior provincial burearcrat Tom Glenwright has been appointed to lead the investigation.

Glenwright did not return calls to Grassroots News by press time.

Community Meeting Garners Strong Support

Meanwhile a weekend community gathering held at the Thunderbird House on Saturday to discuss the lack of accountability and transparency attracted over 60 people.

The ACW sent BOD Member Meaghan Linkletter, as an observer, however, she was immediately taken to task by former ACW President Larry Wurcherer for a move over the weekend by the Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg's Board to remove Wurcherer from his post as President of that organization - whose Board coincidentally includes current ACW President Lionel Chartrand.

Organizers of the meeting however, including Dianne Roussin were able to steer the gathering to questions of organizing and developing community-based strategies to institute calls for both internal and external scrutiny of the ACW's adherence to its own constitution most particularly public input at Board meetings and its failure to move on formal resolutions adopted by its General Assemblies over the past two years.

While Roussin, Wurcherer, former ACW Board Member Dilly Knoll and others acknowledged the meeting was only a modest start all remained optimistic the movement for greater democracy at the ACW and other publicly funded programs and services at 181 Higgins will only intensify.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Our favourite lawyer joke?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Welcome back!"

Mr. Pieuk, you seem to derive great pleasure from taking swipes at the legal profession surely you must have a favourite lawyer joke?

Your Blog is doing an excellent job informing the general public about the law. Keep up the good work!

Practicing Lawyer (Tuxedo)
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for the kind words. Yes, we have a profound respect for the world's oldest, most honourable profession. Here is it:

A business owner hiring a new employee decides to ask an off the wall question at the end of the interview to see how candidates react - what is 2 + 2?

First up an Engineer: "I can use advanced mathmetical theorms and calculus to definitively demonstrate 2 + 2 = 4!"

Next the Accountant: "Employing generally accepted accounting principles, accrual accounting and deferred expenses 2 +2 = 4!"

The Lawyer: Gets up, walks over to the window and closes the blinds. "What would you like it to be?"

Clare L. Pieuk

Congratulations Lionel Chartrand!

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

Winnipeg Metis lawyer Lionel Chrtrand was reported on Winnipeg CBC Radio 1 Sports this morning as having make an extraordinary shot yesterday which led his team to victory in a Bonspiel to determine who gets to compete in the Safeway Select to pick Manitoba's best.

Formerly, he was's pro bono General Legal Counsel when it was sued by the MMF. As solicitors are fond of saying there's plenty of "Black Letter" (that is to say, e-mail) to establish beyond a reasonable preponderance of doubt the allegedly defamatory words were conceived, written and approved for display verbatim on by Mr. L. R.R. Chartrand. A few months after receiving a defamation warning letter (February 9, 2004) from MMF attorney Murray Norman Trachtenberg, Lionel Chartrand went on to provide paid legal services to the Federation. He was never named a Co-Defendant?

Sadly, we've had to delete him from our Annual SEASON'S GREETINGS List for gross non-performance. Too bad he doesn't lawyer like he curls!

This is a curling stone side and bottom views

This is the logo of The Law Society of Manitoba

Clare L. Pieuk

Electronic Distribution List:

Drum roll! May we have the envelope please .....!

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

And the monthly winner of CyberSmokeBlog's most coveted award, THE PLATINUM GLOBE, for most insightful internet comment goes to Anonymous (MMF President and Board of Directors Finally Do The Right Thing - December 13, 2006, for:

"Those people at CyberSmokeSignals should be commended for standing up to the MMF leadership who were trying to shut them down for speaking the truth!"

Clare L. Pieuk

Welcome back!

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

As previously noted, we were a little concerned this valued site had disappeared from the internet. Naturally we assumed it had temporarily shut down for a much needed face lift. While it's back same as before. From all of us at CyberSmokeBlog, Happy Hanukkah Murray!

Murray Norman ("Smiley") Trachtenberg

Still on the subject of upgrading, Daryl Chicoine (;; Direct Line: (204) 989-4519) over at Orle Davidson Giesbrecht Bargen LLP might wish to consider doing the same. Unfortunately, there are those unfamiliar with Knute Rockne's accomplishments? Got several e-mail asking, "Who's he?" From all of us at CyberSmokeBlog SEASON'S GREETINGS DARYL!


Clare L. Pieuk

Friday, December 15, 2006

An unmitigated public relations disaster for the MMF leadership!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Wonder what the price was?"

Bet this was a real sacrifice for them, we know how much they love suing Metis people!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Indeed we do!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Wonder what the price was?"

Do you really send your postings to everyone on the Distribution List?

A class act!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "A special holiday season gift to you from Winnipeg lawyer Jeff Niederhoffer!"

Niederhoffer should run for City Council next time round. Hell, he's not Metis but has done so much good by helping Yvon and this free stuff he's doing now I think every Metis should vote for him! He's already shown he has guts by taking on the MMF and MNC (...... - descriptive deleted); he's demonstrated he has a heart by helping the little guy. I'd vote for him, hell I'd even knock on a few doors ....!
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. Yes, both Anders Bruun and Jeff (Class acts!) did an outstanding job defending Yvon Dumont so much so they won the case. In legal parlance it was nolo contendere (no contest). Plus don't forget during the early stages of the MMF's beyond asinine lawsuit against CyberSmokeSignals he represented the Co-Defendants.

Mr. Niederhoffer recently advised his offer of free notarial services has been exceedingly well received. Not long ago he suggested it may become an annual event. So we offered perhaps he might wish to consider establishing a charitable foundation whereby those who had benefited could contribute a small donation the proceeds of which would go to a worthy cause. Suffice it to say he was most receptive to the idea. Know of any Metis not for profit organizations in need of help? Here's one - a Woman's Resource Centre for those trying to beat the streets.

Those of us associated with this site would be more than willing to knock on a lot of doors should Jeff decide to run for City Council at some point in the future.


Clare L. Pieuk

Monday, December 11, 2006

Wonder what the price was?


Direct Line: (204) 989-4517

Barrristers & Solicitors
George J. Orle, Q.C.
John A. Davidson
Marvin Giesbrecht
Victor E. Bargen
Marilyn J. Born
Shannon Beckman
Clayton H. Stewart
Dean Richert
Audra M. Bayer
Daryl Chicoine
William P. Riley Q.C.*

December 8, 2006

Clare L. Pieuk
371 Des Meurons Rue,
Unit 2
Winnipeg, MB R2H 2N6

Dear Mr. Pieuk:

Re: Manitoba Metis Federation et al v. Everton et al
Court of Queen's Bench File No. CI 05-01-41955

Further to the above noted matter, please be advised that the plaintiffs have agreed to discontinue their action against my client, the defendant Vanessa Everton.

Because the pleadings have closed it is necessary for the Notice of Discontinuance to be served upon all parties to the action and file their consents.

Accordingly, I enclose herein two copies of a Consent to Discontinueance and one duplicate cover page. I ask that you review the Consent, execute both copies and return same to our office. I also ask that you acknowledge service on the duplicate cover page and return that to me as well.

Please provide our office with the completed Consent and service or, alternatively, your response not later than January 5, 2007. In the event that we do not receive your executed consent by January 5, 2007, it will be necessary to bring a motion to have the court confirm the discontinuance of the action against Ms. Everton, at which time my client will be asking for the maximum costs award possible.

Thank you for your cooperation. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 989-4517.

Yours truly,

280 Stradbrook Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3L OJ6 Tel: 204.989.2760 Fax: 204.989.2774 Web:
File No. CI 05-01-41955




- and -
1. A copy of the plaintiff's Notice of Discontinuance, dated November 8, 2006, with form and content consented to by counsel for the plaintiffs and counsel for the defendant VANESSA EVERTON, has been served upon me, the defendant CLARE L. PIEUK.
2. The plaintiffs have agreed to discontinue their claim against the defendant VANESSA EVERTON, without costs to any of the parties.
3. The pleadings have closed and therefore, pursuant to the Court of Queen's Bench Rules, all parties must consent to the discontinuance.
4. I hereby consent to the form and content of the plaintiffs Notice of Discontinuance, dated November 8, 2006.
Date: _______________
Signature: ____________________

Daryl brings a sportsman's attitude to the practice of law. Clients recognize Daryl as disciplined, with a winning attitude. Rockne wrote that, "One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it." Daryl is that type of lawyer, he knows that you can't win with just talk, there must be discipline and unity. It is this discipline and unity that he brings to work with him and puts to work for him and his clients. (

Legendary Notre Dame football player/coach Knute Rockne (1888-1931)

Should Directors of a publicly funded corporation be allowed to sue private citizens using taxpayer dollars? It is said there is a price for everything we do in life. Wonder what the cost of this case was?

Electronic Distribution List: (The Lawyers Weekly)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It could still take several more months!

I wonder if you might be able to tell me what the outcome was of the MMF land claim court case. I cannot seem to find anything past the date of July 18th. Would the proceedings be on the net?

Thank you,
Delores Johnson
Dear Ms Johnson:

As you know, this is a very complex legal case which goes back to 1981 when the original Statement of Claim was filed. Prior to this year's trial literally pounds of legal documentation have been registered by both sides not to mention what was added once the proceedings began. Unfortunately, everyone will have to wait until the Justice who presided hands down a written decision which could still be several months away. Protocol dictates once that happens both sides receive advance copies and no doubt the media will be notified via a Press Release.

As for the massive, complete case file? It no doubt currently resides with the Justice and will not be returned to Court of Queen's Bench Registry (Provincial Law Courts Building) until after a decision has been rendered. Additionally, you will not be able to find any material related to the pleadings on the internet. While all documents are listed chronologically on the Manitoba Justice website (, to view their actual content means a visit to 408 York Avenue where you can photocopy to your heart's content (25 cents/page). Problem is, as noted above, the Justice has everything.

Sorry we couldn't provide you with a better explanation but, in effect, everyone is in a "Court System" imposed information lockdown. George Orwell sure knew what he was talking about!

Clare L. Pieuk

Monday, December 04, 2006

A special holiday season gift to you from Winnipeg lawyer Jeff Niederhoffer!

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

Currently in Manitoba it costs approximately $40-$50 to have a lawyer notarize legal documents. If you have friends or acquaintances with a genuine financial need for this very generous free service, or perhaps you're representing yourself in a legal matter, please forward them a copy of the following PRESS RELEASE.

Clare L. Pieuk

For Immediate Distribution
December 4, 2006

WINNIPEG, MB - Winnipeg lawyer Jeff Niederhoffer has announced he will notarize legal documents free of charge during the holidays for those who cannot afford to pay.

"During the holidays, it can be a real sacrifice for the average person to pay forty or fifty dollars to notarize a document," Niederhoffer explains. "At this time of year, people should be spending their money on friends and family, not on notaries public."

Niederhoffer confirms he will provide free notarial services into the New Year.


Jeffrey Niederhoffer
Barrister, Solicitor and Notary Public
Cellular: (204) 471-8682
E-mail (Personal):

Friday, December 01, 2006


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "And the winner is .....(Drum roll please!) ..... May we have the envelope?" (P.I.T.T.) is a hard-hitting political blog, usually dealing with provincial politics (the author is an anti-establishment, hard-right populist) but occasionally ventures into the Metis sphere. In fact, recently (November 27, 2006), he ran an astonishing piece attacking the "Metis cult" among certain Metis bloggers, notably (drum roll) Will Goodon and Conor Lloyd. A really good read, actually, check it out.
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for the heads up. Any blog which bills itself as, "Politics, Free Speech, Gossip, News And More. For Your Viewing Pleasure. Burnin' Bridges Every Day!" has to be worth a good read.

Clare L. Pieuk

Everyone's a Nation!!!

Ok , the recent post by Will Goodon has set me off!

First of all Will, I am sorry I have to be the one to break it to you, but you kinda look white. It's a great photo of you and your mom, by the way. Conor Lloyd, sorry to tell you but you are white too. What does the PITT, Conor and Will have in common? (Don't even bring up Schuler).

That's right, we're all "Metis." And we are all white as rice. I am so f....g tired of living in a country like this. Who gives a s..t what happened in the past!!! We are all CANADIANS. Every damn group wants to be recognized. They all want a piece of the pie.....they all want to be special. I think that this country has to stop dividing people. The best thing that can happen to Quebec and natives and anyone else who wants to be special is not to get special treatment. Do you think treating Quebec and natives as distinct or a nation has ever helped anyone? They want more more more, and I have had it. This is why I refuse to get a Metis card. Everyone tells me of all the great stuff you get that goes along with getting a Metis card, but why should I be treated different than any other hard working taxpayer? It's b......t. The Metis stuff is like some kind of cult already. Just look at Will's blog. Mary Richard once told me "there sure are alot of white Indians nowadays."

It's time to stop all the dividing in this country. Together we are one people and that nation is called Canada. There is no such thing as a Nation inside a nation.